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Premium Member 2004 SLK32 AMG
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Which SLK do you think will follow Pagoda's fame? And why?
I recently purchased a 2004 SLK 32 AMG after a long search. I only focused
on this particular model for the following reasons:
1. 2004 as the last year of the first SLK model.
2. AMG as the top of the SLK model.
3. Limited production run for 2004.
4. Timeless design.
It is a keeper.
 

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134 Posts
When I was looking, I was undecided between earlier 55 or facelift 350. The 350 won out in the end for a variety of reasons but I noticed that 55's seemed to have bottomed out about £15k and now that the sun has come out prices have risen.

As they are more expensive to buy when new as well as generally having very good specs, the AMG models will be the most expensive secondhand models for some time. In the long-term though, I think it'll be more about condition and originality. Just look at the pagodas - the price is not correlated to the engine size or the level of options.

The two other things needed for premium values are desirability and scarcity. To me, all generations of slk are desirable. I like the 171 the most but it remains to be seen whether it will be hailed in 50 years time as an underappreciated design classic or a wrong turn down an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

Scarcity is trickier. All generations have been popular cars so there's lots of them around. It's also a quality product so should last quite long too but all cars will fail in the end and owners have to make their own the repair/sell decision.

I find the comparison between the slk and the mx5 to be really interesting. My car would have been double the price of a top spec mx5 when new but after 6 years, there's probably only £1500 difference. Why does the slk depreciate so much more in the early years? I can think of a couple of reasons;

Firstly, the higher running costs will deter those on a budget (fuel, tyres, insurance, servicing, tax) as well as the perception of reliability. Mx5 overall reliability is legendary while the slk balancer shaft issue hasn't done it's reputation any favours.

Secondly, I think badge snobbery plays a part. As enthusiasts on a forum, I think few here will be guilty of this but I think it's fair to say that a good chunk of mercedes' customer base will only want to be seen in a newer car and will change after a relatively short period (especially lease customers who are motivated to swap every 2-3 years).

Would love to see further discussion of this as I work in finance and the topic of valuation is one that I've always found fascinating.
 

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227 Posts
The classic car market is all but unpredictable at the moment. Some barely adequate cars are fetching a premium, I presume it is thought a safe place to put money as there are never going to be any more of a particular model that went out of production before the war.

One thing which might hit prices of more modern cars is the fact that they are more modern. Whether a car can be kept mobile is one of the critical factors, rather ironically as most of the easily repaired prewar classics are kept in storage.

Against the SLK is the roof as this is perceived to be unreliable. All the protesting is for nought, perception is everything. So that might hold prices down a bit. Availability is another. There are lots of SLKs out there, even the oldest ones.

As a previous poster mentions, scarcity is an important factor. The 32AMG is almost certain to increase in price, if not in value, over the years. The same will not go for the 171 and 172 range toppers yet I don't think.

What I'd like to know is what's going to happen to the plebs with more mundane versions.

It is likely, given what's happened to other such cars, that the original model will have a certain favour. But condition is everything.

The trend for modern cars seems to be that a specific sporting model it drops into the hands of those less able to afford servicing and repairs, the latter especially to the body. Prices drop generally and despite those in good condition fetching a premium, the rubbish will bring down the price of the range to an extent.

The next stage is where the uncared for ones become unrepairable due to cost and so the pool reduces, those in fairly decent condition become more valuable and the ones in first class condition build a bigger gap between themselves and those that lacked a careful owner.

The moral is that if you buy a 170 now and keep it in excellent condition for, say, five or so years, depreciation will not be a factor in costs. The car is unlikely to go up in value to any great extent, but might keep in line with inflation.

There are many factors though that might affect prices. Legislation might keep older cars out of cities and this might well hit the non-premium classic cars quite badly.

Don't invest on my say so though. Even I don't.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
Pagodas are 35 or more years older than our SLKs, who can wait another 35 years?

Enjoy now whilst the prices are at the bottom of the curve and many are still in great original condition, take one's chances that they turn into the future 'must-have' classic.

Another risk is that in 35 years, the emissions requirements, taxation rules, and the fuel pricing or energy systems will be completely different, potentially making older petrol fuel cars difficult to run.

Maybe not, but who can predict such things other than the certainty there will be changes?
 

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Registered 2004 SLK200 KOMPRESSOR
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551 Posts
In my humble opinion the biggest problem is amount of plastic parts in SLK. Plastic doesn't age well. Pagodas and other real old cars are made of metal and built to last. I'm not sure if you can say the same thing about SLK. Anyway I had my daily dose of topless ride and I enjoyed it without thinking if my SLK200 will ever by a classic car.
 
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